This is an important and historical release that is a collaborative effort between two masterful geniuses of EDM-based Electronic music. Neither artist really needs an introduction here, but this album does. Skrillex and Diplo both have had successful music careers and this award-winning effort showed that the 21st-century style album way of The Chemical Brothers could be successful musically. Still, how does it sound? Let’s find out.
Don’t Do Drugs Just Take Some Jack Ü begins this collaborative effort with ethereal sounds, birds chirping and pretty melodies. Some super distorted vocals enter talking about drug use enter, and this piece sounds really interesting. It is Jack Ü’s effort to replicate the 808 State Pacific State tune in their own original way. The distorted vocals continue, and if this is a musical experience matched to drug use, it is very good for all intents recognised. A really interesting piece, this sounds pretty and different, just sounding like a weird and wonderful introduction to this album. The vocals eventually fade out, leaving the lush instrumentation to conclude. Excellent.
Beats Knockin (feat. Fly Boi Keno) begins with cut up vocals and excellent Roland drum machine style sounds. This quickly launches into a really excellent tune that sounds cool. Repeated vocals then enter, and this piece gets going into a really fantastic EDM style Breakbeat groove. This sounds very awesome, and it just sounds top and fresh. A really interesting and revolutionary piece of music for an original style and genre, Jack Ü kick the proverbial. Drunk, high or sober upon hearing this, this is a really amazing tune. The mixture of textures, cut up Reggae style vocals and a climax that sounds great, this is cool beyond words. Very good for a tune that is less than three minutes long.
Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza) begins with clanging piano much like The Beach Boys, before some excellent singing by Kiesza comes along. This is instantly a really great and anthemic tune, with a progressive nature. Soon into it, some wonderful downturned sounds in the breakdown emerge. This is nothing but fantastic, it does sound superb and supercharged. The mixture of sounds, textures, percussion and samples make this track a real standout. This does sound really cool and is unforgettable upon hearing it for the first time. A really powerful and upbeat piece of music, this does sound really clearly professional and nicely worked on. The tune resumes back into the downturned patch breakdown, with plenty of pitch-shifted vocals galore. A very good listen from start to finish, nice work. It ends with piano, beeps and bleeps and traffic sounds. Nice work.
Febreze (feat. 2 Chainz) begins with some more cut-up and looped vocals, along with some fairly basic beats. Some Rapped vocals from 2 Chainz emerge, and this piece quickly goes into what is more or less a continuation of the last track here sonically, be it intentional or unintentionally so. This is a brilliant addition of a melting pot of influences from all over the world. An interesting and worthwhile listening experience throughout, this does sound very different to most music out there. In the second half, it hits Underworld-styled Cowgirl territory. A really great listen, this does sound energetic and amazing. A build-up in the second half ensues, before an atomic bomb explosion sample that is distorted enters, along with another huge bunch of samples. A vocal discussion at the end is sampled on the street before this wraps up. Nice.
To Ü (feat. AlunaGeorge) begins with some horn-styled Electronic sounds, before launching into a different-sounding piece of music with female vocals. This is instantly memorable, catchy and uplifting in a danceable, pseudo-Dubstep way. This actually sounds somewhat like Ariana Grande’s music and is a supercharged and fiery listen. A very interesting and emotional listening experience, this has some excellent sound patches and cleverly placed samples throughout. A really cool track that is melodic and touching, this does sound very moody and deep sounding. In the second half are some interesting cut-up sounds that sound really awesome. Although this isn’t the best track on the album, it does work very well. Nice work all the same. This ends with cut-up and delayed vocals, followed by the sound of vinyl crackle to finish. Good stuff.
Jungle Bae (feat. Bunji Garlin & MX Prime) begins with some pounding pseudo-bongo beats, and some energetic vocals, before going straight into a semi-Reggae-sounding piece. From the go, this sounds fantastic and anthemic with a variety of chanted vocals and exciting buildups and breakdowns. It launches into a superb Dubstep style section with interesting and awesome sounds and textures. This is a stunning and wonderful listen to enjoy, it just sounds really cool and amazing. Obviously more proof here of the amazing mixture of internationally based sounds into a punchy and aggressive sounding listen, this is a must-listen, as is the rest of the album. It is brilliant evidence of the power of Jack Ü’s work here, it sounds fantastic. Great processed robotic conclude this, excellent work.
Mind (feat. Kai) begins with some very dark textures and some delayed vocals, before this tune gets going with Kai’s singing. This is a sort of dark tune but all the same, it sounds very different and touching musically. There are some additional male vocals thrown into the mix as well, which are great, too. Following that is a great melody and a gigantic seat of beats to match. This is something that those who dig EDM will especially appreciate, it sounds like a cool mixture of Dubstep based sensibilities, Pop approach and revolutionary sounds abound. There is not a dull moment on this tune, it just sounds hyperactive and brilliant. A minimal but excellent piece of music, this is for those who dig nightclubbing and similar sorts of fun activities. This concludes with a sweep based fade out, nice work.
Holla Out (feat. Snails & Taranchyla) begins with some awesome downtuned patch based sounds, before string sections are thrown into the mix. This is certainly unusual. Some processed vocals then enter, before the Roland style beats and percussion enter. Soon enough, this piece gets going and the results are audibly excellent. Jack Ü as a duo knew exactly what they were doing to make excellent music. There are some unusual sounds throughout that just sound really clever and amazing. There is a vocal based breakdown with singing about the wonderful nature of good music, before this track launches back into the frenzy in the second half. This is also sounding heavily drug influenced and psychedelic, which makes this track sound very trippy. There is a breakdown with vocal samples towards the end and snatches of other sounds, before ending with a sample of a street conversation, which is a little amusing. A very good tune, and also worth hearing.
Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber) is the most popular song from the album. It begins with some sweep style sounds, before launching into a gloriously good piece of music with piano and nicely placed in vocals from Justin Bieber. This is a fantastic piece of music about lost love and it makes perfect sense to listen to. It quickly launches into a strange sounding piece in the breakdown, sounding somewhat akin to eastern music in approach of its melody. This is a very top and quality tune, and this defines the album alone, along with showing something that relates to Justin Bieber’s love life at the time. This is a really cool and anthemic listening experience, it just sounds really excellent, interesting and detailed. A very memorable piece of music, and something that should be heard by many today. A great four minute long postmodern Pop music piece mixed with some contemporary Electronic sounds, this is great. It ends with edited delayed vocals, nice work.
Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza) – Missy Elliott Remix comes in as the last tune, which is a remix of the earlier tune on this album. Some piano enters the scene again, followed quickly by beautiful vocals and joyful sounds. This is a really fine, euphoric and upbeat listen, especially for a remix. Obviously, time was not wasted by Skrillex or Diplo, along with all the guest performers on this record. A very energetic and mindblowing tune, this does sound anthemic. A nice tune to conclude a thrilling album, the mixture of Missy Elliott’s vocals and the rest of the tune is very clever and brilliant. This is a crazy sounding piece of music that will no doubt get clubbers going. Wonderfully enjoyable, this finishes an awesome album that deserves many repeat listens, nice stuff.
Although the duo of Skrillex and Diplo here did not last as a long term creative team, this is a fantastic album to listen to and has a great amount of detail, listenability, joy, wonderful and psychedelic sounds to go. Certainly if you want to hear a really great album from the 21st century, you should definitely explore this album as a reference point in musical history and listen to its melodic and percussive wonder. Excellent work by all involved.